Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Cake

Chocolate Cherry Cake

1 package (18 oz) chocolate cake mix
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine dry cake mix, cherry filling, almond extract and eggs.  Pour into greased 9x13" pan and bake at 350­° for 25-30 minutes.

Combine sugar, butter and milk in saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Beat until smooth.
 Then pour over warm cake.
Cool, then serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Dutch Oven Stuffed Hot Dogs

Today I'm trying to clean up the "My Pictures" folder.  I'm not going to bother looking up this recipe, because I think you can figure it out all on your own.

Cut a slit in a hot dog.  Stuff in a thin slice of cheese.

Wrap a slice of bacon around it (secure with toothpicks) and cook in the Dutch Oven until done.
Eat it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creamy Pasta Something

The inspiration for this dinner came from this website, but of course we had to make a few changes!

Start by briefly marinating (about an hour) chicken breasts in a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, parley, garlic, Italian seasoning.  Sauté them and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare a basic white sauce, stirring in some Mozarella cheese, peas, cooked mushrooms, and bacon bits.

Cook the pasta (we used linguine this time) and assemble, topping with some Parmesan cheese.
There you go!  Of course, the plate would have looked better with carrots instead of cauliflower, but that's the way it goes.

Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry Cobbler

Heat oven to 350°.  Place 1/2 cup butter or margarine in an 8" square pan and put in oven until melted.  Meanwhile, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup self-rising flour (which I don't have, so I added a touch of baking powder and salt to my regular flour), and 3/4 cup milk.  Pour over melted butter and top with about 2 cups blackberries.  Return to oven and bake for about 45 minutes.
Serve with ice cream if desired!
It was delicious!

"This Combination Works" Chicken

I was just planning on having sautéed chicken breasts sprinkled with a little seasoning salt for dinner.  Wayne had other ideas.  He threw on some sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and Mozarella cheese, and we had Gourmet Chicken for dinner - with the same amount of preparation time!  It was delicious.  Next time he thinks we should add some sliced black olives as well.

Company Potatoes

I love potatoes, and it doesn't really matter how they're prepared.  However, last night I decided this was the way I wanted them.  They're delicious, with or without the green peppers.

Company Potatoes

8 unpeeled potatoes, cut up
1-2 onions, diced
green pepper, diced
12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
package of dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine
Place the vegetables in a 9x13" pan.  Sprinkle with onion soup mix and dot with butter.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 400° for about an hour, or until tender.  Serves 8.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Last week Wayne cooked another recipe from the Columbia Restaurant Cookbook.  This time it required a special trip to the Latin supermarket.  I couldn't find tasajo or malanga at Publix!  However, it was a great Friday night date, and after trying two or three different stores we came home with the proper ingredients.
I'm just a bit too lazy to go get the recipe book, so if you want the actual amounts, let me know!  But you start by soaking 1/2 pound of tasajo (or dried beef) overnight.
The next day, drain it, dice it, and combine it with 1/2 pound of fresh beef and 1/2 pound of fresh pork, and brown in some peanut oil.  While that's cooking, prepare all the vegetables.  (You could also save yourself all the peeling and dicing and go to the bodega and buy a bag of ajiaco vegetables.  I'd never even heard of the soup before, but such an item exists!)
Wayne likes peeling and dicing!  He used corn on the cob, green pepper, onion, garlic, sweet potato, butternut squash, yuca, taro, a green plantain and a ripe plantain.  Salt and pepper to taste and stir in a can (8 oz) of tomato sauce and the juice from one lemon.
Cook until it's done, then serve!
I still don't like plantains, but the rest of the soup was pretty good.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chocolate Profiteroles

Michelle enjoys choosing our Sunday desserts.  That way she gets what she wants!  This recipe came from a recent Good Housekeeping magazine article.  Since I already had some Hot Fudge Sauce in the refrigerator, we just used that (and so I haven't included their chocolate sauce recipe).  Also, we didn't have chocolate ice cream, but Moose Tracks worked just as well.
Chocolate Profiteroles (or Cream Puffs)

1 cup cold water
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 eggs

Combine water, butter and sugar.  Heat on medium until just boiling.  Remove from heat.  Add flour and cocoa, stirring vigorously until ball forms.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until batter is smooth.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Bake at 400° for about 35 minutes (note: we thought that was too long - it made the puffs too crunchy).  Turn off oven and remove pans.  Make a 1/2" slit on side of each puff with a sharp knife.  (Be careful!  They're hot!)  Return to oven; let stand 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

To serve, cut puffs in half with a serrated knife.  Place small scoops of ice cream on bottoms; replace tops.  Drizzle with warm chocolate sauce.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Strawberry Bavarian

On the way home from church, Michelle wanted to know what was for dessert.  I said "something with strawberries" and she suggested some sort of parfait.  There wasn't a lot of time to do anything fancy, but we found this recipe that only took 5 minutes to prepare, and set up while we were eating.  And it even looks fancy!

Strawberry Bavarians

1 package (4 serving size) strawberry jello
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup ice cubes, with cold water to make 1 1/4 cups
1/2 cup whipped topping
1 cup sliced strawberries

Combine dry jello with boiling water.  Put in blender.  Add ice cubes and process a couple of minutes.  Add whipped topping and blend to combine.  Put a few strawberries in each parfait glass.  Pour jello mixture over berries.  Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  To serve, dollop with additional whipped cream if desired.  Makes 4 servings

Unstuffed Cabbage

Unstuffed Cabbage

1 small head cabbage
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup rice
salt and pepper to taste
1 can (10 oz) tomato soup
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cut cabbage into 1 1/2" pieces (about 6-8 cups) and place in baking dish.  Brown and drain the beef and onion (or use a package of wheat/meat) and pour over cabbage.  Sprinkle rice over all.  Add water to tomato soup, stir and pour over casserole.  Cover and bake for one hour at 350°.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Serves 4-6.

Hearty Cassoulet

We weren't sure what a "cassoulet" was, so we looked it up.  It's a recipe made with meat and white beans that is cooked in a casserole dish.  This was aptly named.  It also made it onto the "ways to cook dried beans that we can have again" list!  Give it a try and see if you agree.

Hearty Cassoulet

4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup sliced scallions
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 chicken thighs, skinned (we used drumsticks this time, and didn't skin them)
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 carrots, sliced
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup water
2 (16 oz) cans cannelini, rinsed and drained
2 ounces Canadian bacon, diced (we used ham)

Combine garlic, parsley, scallions, thyme, salt and pepper; rub onto chicken and let set 10 minutes.  Heat oil in skillet and cook carrots for 5 minutes.  Transfer carrots and chicken to baking dish.  Combine tomato paste and water.  Add to dish with beans and bacon.  Stir.  Cover and bake at 400° for 35 minutes.  If desired, sprinkle with additional parsley before serving.  Serves 4.

Dutch Oven Chicken with Vegetables

It was obvious this recipe was meant for a crowd, but we made it for three.  There was a lot of sauce!  Of course, that made it delicious.  And even though we made it for three, there were a lot of leftovers; it was closer to eight servings.  When we try the other variations, I think we'll add more vegetables just for the fun of it, to help even out the proportions.
Dutch Oven Chicken and Vegetables Casserole

1/2 pound chicken per person
1/2 pound vegetables per person - equal parts potatoes, carrots, and celery (all cut up)
2 onions - chopped
1 bell pepper - chopped
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
seasoning to taste

Brown the chicken in a 14" Dutch oven.  Add the vegetables.  Mix together the cans of soup and pour over the chicken and vegetables.  Season to taste.  Cook until tender, about 1 hour.

Note: also good with cubed turkey or beef instead of the chicken.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Soy-Marinated Chicken

Marinate a 3# fryer in the following overnight::
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Drain and broil 20 minutes 5" from heat.  Turn and cook 15 more minutes.  Brush often with marinade.

Serves 6.

Note: I halved the marinade ingredients, used 4 chicken thighs, only marinated them while at church (4-5 hours), and they were done after 20 minutes of broiling.  Yummy!

Linguine with Zucchini

You know it's a good recipe when everyone says you can make it again.  Next time we'll probably add mushrooms, and maybe even try thickening the sauce just a bit with cornstarch.

Linguine with Zucchini-Clam Sauce
Sauté 1 sliced medium zucchini in 2 tablespoons olive oil until tender.  Add 2 cans minced clams and their juice, 1 cup chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat through.  Stir in sliced scallions and toss with 12 oz. freshly-cooked linguine.  Serve with Parmesan cheese.